Liberia: 'UP Not Qualified to Protest'

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Executive Director Nathaniel Blama says the former ruling Unity Party (UP) does not have any right to form part of a protest against the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led - government.

Mr. Blama heads a government collaborating party called Liberia National Union (LINU).

"They are not qualified to carry on any protest in this country because the economic hardship that citizens are facing today [was] inherited by this government, and they were (the ones) that caused this huge wide spread of hardship," Mr. Blama said on 29 April on a local talk show in Monrovia.

He argues that in spite of all of the difficulties and challenges, the CDC led - government still manages to stabilize the economy, blaming the former UP led- government of changing the local currency without any accountability.

"The economic hardship, including the high rate that we [are] experiencing here today was initiated by them," he explains.

Mr. Blama cautions that the critics and opposition must understand that the hardship in the country is not as a result of any policy taken by the CDC led - administration.

According to him, things would have even become worse had President George Manneh Weah not instituted an Economic Management Team.

According to the EPA boos, he supports any form of dialogue and not protest that he believes will give a negative image of the country.

"We don't need to create a scenario where people out there will see Liberia as a place that is not save for living," Mr. Blama cautions.

The EPA boss says he thinks the government is in the position to dialogue with the protesters, because President Weah sat with Montserrado County District #10 Rep. Yekeh Kolubah who has been very critical on the president.

By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Winston W. Parley

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